Rock with me

Truth be told, I haven’t thought about Michael Jackson much in the last 10-15 years. With all his oddities and dicey situations, he faded into obscurity for me (well, as much as the King of Pop can).

So the news of his death was sort of a shocking/not shocking thing. Do all musical icons die young? Because it does seem that way.

Anyway, when I went upstairs to remove my makeup and get into my comfy jammies, I turned on the radio.. and of course, playing on every station… an MJ marathon.

I was instantly catapulted back to my youth. Each song held a vivid memory.

Listening to “Rock With You” in the car on our first family trip to Hollywood, CA in, was it ’79-’80? We were looking for the stars houses (and the stars… AS IF they just HANG OUT at the end of their gated driveway on Mulholland Drive), but the soundtrack to our trip was Michael Jackson… “Off the Wall.” While we were scoping out the Farmers Market and Hamburger Hamlet for Johnny Carson we heard nothing but MJ as our background music.

My brother singing “Beat It” while sporting a red leather zippered jacket with a white glove. The same brother watching a VCR copy (DVD’s not invented yet) of “Thriller” over and over and over again. So much so that my parents could do the zombie dance themselves. “Shake you head to the RIGHT! Mom!”

My school dance, dancing to “PYT” with my BFF, Nancy. She had a massive crush on MJ in high school. If she’s reading this, I know she’s laughing.

Spring Break trip to Bahamas my sophomore year of college… and that wacky little sports bar that had the only 52″ widescreen TV on the whole island (hey, it was 1988, come on!). They also only had one music video playing on it.. “Man in the Mirror”.

Yep, if we are being truthful, I was never a huge fan of Michael Jackson. If anything, I am mostly conflicted.

But looking back, his music was the soundtrack of my childhood and early adulthood.

So today, I am wistfully thinking that even though I had nearly forgotten about Michael Jackson lately, I am reminded that his music will be something I talk about until I am old and grey.

Love him or hate him, his impact will remain.

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Goth and Teen Queens

Back in the 80’s when I was in high school and college I fancied myself the Queen of Alternative Music. When everyone else was rockin’ out to Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Ozzy, Poison, and Whitesnake… I was pondering the meaning of life with my favorite RECORD collection (and cassette tapes)… wearing black, and hanging out with dudes who wore eyeliner.

I was into The Cure, Erasure, Bauhaus, The Smiths, New Order, R.E.M., and U2.

I should also admit that in the 80’s I was also a big fan of Prince, Wham! and Duran Duran, but in the “cool crowds” I never would admit that.

So it deeply saddens me upon reading this post this morning:

Hilary Duff bastardizes Depeche Mode

Have my 80’s idols actually SOLD OUT to a tween queen with a manufactured persona and voice?

Say it ain’t so.

I knew there would come a day when my music became “the oldies” (like 50’s and 60’s music are to my parents), but I am not ready to hear it. I know that music “sampling” is a cool thing to do nowadays- take an old song and introduce it to the young people as new.

The problem: the audience doesn’t know the original song, and ends up mistaking the new song as NEW. Therefore, never fully appreciating how GOOD the original is.

I know there has got to be readers to my blog that have no clue who Depeche Mode is, but sure as hell know Hilary Duff. And to them, I say… you missed a lifetime of great music in the 80’s. Go forth and download all of the above groups I mentioned to your iPod and experience what being “cool” was all about.

Next thing you know Britney Spears will be covering “Purple Rain” on her comeback tour.

Speaking of which, “Purple Rain” was far and above one of the best albums ever released. E-V-E-R.

Show Prince some love, and tell me you loved it too.